Erik Erikson cam up with eight stages of development: trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame, initiative vs. guilt, industry/competency vs. inferiority, identity vs. role confusion, intimacy and solidarity vs. isolation, generativity vs. stagnation, and integrity vs. despair.
In the first stage, trust vs. mistrust, the child is between the ages of zero and eighteen months. It is very important to build trust in this stage, so the child knows who he or she can rely on. If the baby's needs are met with love, they will trust the caregiver and the world in general. If not, the baby may build a mistrust towards the world in general. An example of this stage not being fulfilled would be a baby who cries and is not answered. This baby would learn not to trust those taking care of it.
The second stage is autonomy vs. shame. During this stage, the child is between the ages of eighteen months and three years. This stage is where the child learns how to do things for him or herself. They should begin to understand that they can control events and make things happen for themselves. An example of this not working out could be when a parent starts potty training to early. If they can't do it, they might feel bad about themselves and feel inadequate.
During the third stage, initiative vs. guilt, the child is between the ages of three and six years old. Children here want to have independence and control. They are building self-confidence and are finding out that they can do things for themselves. An example of a bad situation is where a controlling parent might be very angry with the child if he or she doesn't do something correct when they do it alone. This can cause guilt and a lack of self-confidence.
The next stage is industry/competence vs. inferiority, for children ages six to puberty. In this stage, if the other stages were resolved, a child would feel confident enough to do activities such as sports. If they don't feel competent, they might feel like they couldn't do sports and would only watch enviously for example.
The fifth stage is identity vs. role confusion during adolescence. During this stage, the child is trying to see what kind of person they want to be. They might experiment in different behaviors and jobs to see what they like. Hopefully in this stage they find out their role and feel happy about it. If they weren't given a chance to find out what they're good at, they might have a lot of trouble finding something that suits them for example. This would cause confusion.
Intimacy and solidarity vs. isolation is the next stage, including people in early adulthood. In this stage, they explore the kind of features they might want in a mate, and if they want to share their lives with someone or not. If they were not properly nurtured before this stage, they might be afraid of rejection.
Generativity vs. Stagnation, the seventh stage, concerns people in middle adulthood. People in this stage feel the need to help the next generation and be a good leader in society. People in this stage might really work at raising a good family, and making the world a good place. If one does not do this, one might feel dissatisfied with life and as if they have not had a productive life.
The last stage is Ego Integrity vs. Despair concerning those near the end of life. In this stage, people either look back happy with the life they've had and their accomplished, or wish they could relive the glory days. If one is not fulfilled, they might be grumpy and tired of life at the end.